"If you're frail you've had it": A theory of planned behavior study of student nurses' attitudes towards working with older patients

A McKinlay, S Cowan

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    Background: The developed world's population is aging but care of older patients is unpopular in nursing.

    Objectives: To determine student nurses' attitudes towards working with older patients and analyze underlying factors.

    Method: 172 UK student nurses were surveyed using the theory of planned behavior.

    Results: Positive intentions were related to attitudes (p <0.01) and subjective norms (p <0.05). Three underlying factors, intolerance (p <0.01), humanism (p <0.05), and concern about aging (p <0.01) differentiated more and less positive participants.

    Discussion: Results are only partly consistent with previous findings. Future attitudinal research in this area must be more tightly specified to be relevant to health care and should measure actual behavior and employed nurses' views. Nursing curricula should refer to the three relevant factors.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)900-917
    Number of pages18
    JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006


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